Wednesday 14 November 1660

(Office day). But this day was the first that we do begin to sit in the afternoon, and not in the forenoon, and therefore I went into Cheapside to Mr. Beauchamp’s, the goldsmith, to look out a piece of plate to give Mr. Fox from my Lord, for his favour about the 4,000l., and did choose a gilt tankard. So to Paul’s Churchyard and bought “Cornelianum. dolium.” So home to dinner, and after that to the office till late at night, and so Sir W. Pen, the Comptroller, and I to the Dolphin, where we found Sir W. Batten, who is seldom a night from hence, and there we did drink a great quantity of sack and did tell many merry stories, and in good humours we were all. So home and to bed.

13 Annotations

First Reading

Judy Bailey  •  Link

And for all that money, the tankard is only gilt???? Wonder what that cost?

Peter  •  Link

Does "plate" here mean silver?

Peter  •  Link

Why the change of office hours, I wonder? As they then work long into the night, it doesn't appear to have anything to do with the shortening of the winter days. Any suggestions?

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Doesn't 'gilt' mean silver with a gold plating on it? That would be fairly expensive, surely?

StewartMcI  •  Link

"Plate" does indeed mean solid and sterling standard silver, and "gilt" gilded or gold plated. The tankard would have been a high piece about nine or ten inches high with a hinged lid, and such that we, and Sothebys, would today kill for.

Mary  •  Link

....the tankard is only gilt..

The tankard is a 'thank-you' for expediting a piece of business and is bought on Sandwich's behalf. He has doubtless given Sam some sort of guidance as to the sum that can be spent on it. At a time when the granting and recognition of favours played such a significant part in the conduct of all sorts of business, there was probably an unofficial but generally accepted 'tariff' of returns for favour shown.

Sandwich is by no means a foolish man, so presumably this level of gift is deemed appropriate in the circumstances. These circumstances would include both the magnitude of the favour and the social/political standing of the person being thanked.

Barbara  •  Link

Pepys enjoyed buying plate, and obviously had good taste. A silver gilt tankard would have been highly acceptable. Many examples in museums.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"for his favour about the 4,000l., and did choose a gilt tankard"
340 years after Sam's visit to the goldsmith, we struggle to infer the ethics of what he (and everyone else) obviously takes for granted. To Sam, all is open and aboveboard. You never ask but what is right to do, but once favor is given, he would no more be rude by failing to show appreciation that we would visit a friend's house for sumptuous dinner and not bring a bottle of wine as a hostess present. But once gratuity becomes expected, standards of right can erode, so (spoiler alert!), the escalation of favors will culminate in the corruption of the late Restoration and doom James to ignominious exile.
But for now, we have to accept that *this is the way they did things.*

Peter  •  Link

Office hours.
I have found the answer to my question above....L&M footnote to this entry reads: "This was for the convenience of those members of the Board who were also members of Parliament, which had reassembled on 6 November".

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Pepys bought Cornelianum dolium Comœdia lepidissima, optimorum judiciis approbata, & theatrali coryphœo, nec immeritò, donata, palma chorali apprimè digna. Auctore, T.R. ingeniosissimo hujus ævi heliconio.
Main Author: Randolph, Thomas, 1605-1635.
Other Authors: Brathwaite, Richard, 1588?-1673., Marshall, William, fl. 1617-1650,
Published: Londini : Apud Tho. Harperum. Et væneunt per Tho. Slaterum, & Laurentium Chapman, 1638
Series: Early English books online.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

:we did drink a great quantity of sack and did tell many merry stories, and in good humours we were all. "

I'll bet! Hangover tomorrow?

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